A year on my own

Today I completed one year of being on my own.

Today I completed one year of being on my own.

In 2004, after graduating from college and doing a brief experiment with a startup I came to Pune, looking for a job. I failed to clear the interviews of many MNCs. In the last two and a half years of my college, I spent most of my time learning Linux and Computer networks. So, I decided to narrow down my search where there is a requirement of some Linux Admin work and after giving my first interview, I got the job. Anyways coming forward, I do have some plans after leaving my full time job but didn’t know what comes next. As last time Linux helped again but this time in the form of The Linux Foundation. I got an assignment from The Linux Foundation to build a self-paced course on “Cloud Infrastructure Technologies”, which got launched in June’16.

Between Dec’15 – March’16 months I also gave free containers(Docker) workshops in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkatta. At the same time, I gave some paid workshops as well.

Within a month after leaving my job I realized how easy it is for an employee than your own boss. One has to manage his/her time, next month’s paycheck, family, health and so on without losing the cool. After going through on my own I started to respect entrepreneurs, self-employed, my local vendors, auto-rickshaw drivers etc more.

Less sleep, a lot of work took a toll on my body and I got stuck with Bell’s Palsy in Jan’16. It was very scary to go under MRI in the middle of the night for a checkup. It took me few months to recover. This definitely affected my work and I had to re-organize myself. Like everyone I thought of getting some interns and employees but that did not work either. I spent my time, energy and money to make them up to speed but did not succeed either. It was difficult to part ways with some of them but I am happy that we did that on good terms. It was a good experience which I think can come only with a few mistakes. I learned one very important lesson “Never hire a full-time until I am 100% satisfied”.

The formal registration of the company did not happen until May 2016. It is one marathon task as well. Working with Charted Account to get all documentation is not fun but it has to be done anyway. For registration, I had to also give a company name. I spent a good amount of time thinking about it. I was looking for some inspiration/help which I got from Ranga Shankara, a theatre in Bangalore and very near to my office. On my way back from a daily visit to a coffee shop I saw the board for the theatre festival “Youth Yuga”. In Hindi “Yuga” means “Era”, which made me think that is an era of cloud computing. So why not name my company “CloudYuga”. I took the “.guru” domain as in the next year or two I would be focusing on training.

From Dec’15 to July’16 we worked from Bangalore Alpha Lab and then moved to our own office. It was fun to see our own office taking shape.

Throughout the year I was engaged with Docker Community, which helped me both professionally and psychologically. I became part of Docker Captain’s program, which was a good confidence booster. In Bangalore, I organized Docker meetups, which kept me well connected with the local community. On my own, I attended different international conferences DevConf’16, DockerCon’16 and LinuxCon/ContainerCon’16 & spoke in two of them.

When I started last year I told my family that let’s see for 6 months and if things do not work out then I can go back to full time again. It’s been a year and I have things in the pipeline for the next 6 months, which is good. My family supported me very well, especially my wife Kanika who also joined to work with me part-time for the last few months.

Till now my focus has been training than consulting, which I believe would continue for some time. I see a good amount of skill gaps in adopting container technologies.. good for me !!. Over the year I got some corporate clients for trainings which I think would continue to grow. Here is the group photo of the container (Docker) training I delivered today in Pune.

Some of the learning from last year’s experience are:-

  • There are more good people in the world than we think. They are willing to help you.
  • Reach out to people with a helping hand.
  • Give priority to health.
  • Be true to yourself and things would fall in place.

It’s been a fun ride with lots of new experiences. Let’s see how far we can go !!

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